“God made the world round so we would never see too far down the road.” ~ Isak Dinesen
It’s been four months, nearly to the day, since my world crashed in around me.
Two of the most passionate, and also the most tumultuous, years of my life had just come to an abrupt end, and with it went every dream I held about my future.
He and I had known each other as children. Years later, our paths crossed again and we became lovers. We shared childhood memories, laughter, and a matched passion. We also shared sadness, heartache, and loss. We loved each other. It was like a fairytale, only this one didn’t end happily ever after.
We grew apart. We reached the end of our story. Both of us were changed from our time together. Suddenly, staying together was no longer tenable, so we went our separate ways.
I didn’t know how I would ever breathe again. And yet one thought kept playing through my mind, “You’ve lost yourself. Where are you?”
I was teetering on the precipice of a rather dark pit of despair, and I knew I needed something to hold on to. I needed to do something for me that would help me shift my thoughts from loss to hope.
It was somewhere in the harmony of all that was, all that is, and all that will be, that I began to find myself again.
A week before I moved out, I saw an advertisement for the Elephant Journal Academy. It was like seeing a lighthouse in a storm. Writing is something that I’ve unceasingly loved; it has always been my solace. Without a second thought, I filled out the application, hesitating only briefly when I reached the portion that asked for a sample of my writing.
In the following 14 weeks of the program, I found healing in ways that I could never have predicted. Healing is neither a linear nor a solitary endeavor. It takes patience and understanding from our friends and loved ones.
Every one of us has heartache. Some greater than others, but all are valid. We have all felt alone at one time or another. Each of us has experienced varying degrees of despair, and many of us have been subject to our own dark night of the soul. We must be gentle with ourselves.
Here are three truths that I found to be self-evident when we are experiencing heartache and uncertainty.
1. Trust in serendipity.
The perfect answer is trying to find each and every one of us when we feel lost and alone. All we have to do is get ourselves out of its way, and let it choose us. We have to notice the gentle nudges, the signs, and the whispers in our ears. We must trust that though we don’t have all the answers, they are available to us when we loosen our grip on the need to control circumstances and remain open to synchronicities.
2. Learn how to stop thinking without falling asleep.
Learning how to meditate may sound daunting to those of us who cannot step out of the multitasking mode. Yet, it’s as easy as focusing on the breath. Investing just five minutes a day in ourselves is a gift we all deserve. Yoga is another practice that stops our thoughts from running away. Taking a walk in nature can be meditative. These are just a few options of many that keep us in the present moment. It is only in the present moment that we are actively mindful. When our minds are silent we are receptive to actively listen to hear, not just listening merely to respond.
3. Honor our hearts.
We each have a passion for something buried inside of us. Perhaps it’s a dream we held as a child that, for whatever reason, we set aside and forgot about it. Honoring our hearts is one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves. Our hearts are capable of great love and compassion. They can be broken into a million pieces yet still keep beating. And they need to love. Love, in all its guises, is never lost. It envelops, transforms, and expands outward. It never diminishes. It is a constant in our lives and vital to our existence.
Babies will die without it. As adults, we can deny ourselves of this nectar and shrivel up, or we can let it take hold of us and continue to grow. Sure, it is a gamble, but the views from love’s eyes are worth the journey. Besides, what would our world be without love? Take a few moments each day to recognize how much love you have given and shared in your lifetime. This acknowledgement alone may just take your breath away.
In the blink of an eye, I made a split second decision that has taken me further than I could have imagined 14 short weeks ago. I walked away from one life and stepped right into another, when all I wanted to do was stop breathing. I made new like-minded friends, embraced new practices, and drank in the Academy’s lessons like a person dying of thirst.
I began to find myself, and I learned many new things along the way. One of the most important things I learned was that we continue to define ourselves throughout our lives. We don’t always need to go through a life-changing event to experience this, however, as humans, we do tend to learn more through pain than through joy.
What is your passion? What calls to you? Take the plunge. Replace your “if only” with “why not!” Open your heart completely and don’t forget to include yourself. The greatest gift you can give to yourself is your own love.
With this in your corner, you have everything you need.
“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” ~ Isak Dinesen
Author: Yolette Baca
Image: Charlotte Astrid
Editor: Taia Butler